Reaping the Benefits from Aussie Hoops

Ngallagunda Aussie Hoops Program Group Photo 2015

Ngallagunda Aussie Hoops Program Group Photo 2015

The iconic Gibb River Road is the dirt track that cuts through the heart of the Kimberley region and along which you will find four small communities and two schools situated midway along the unsealed road. Wananami School is in Kupungarri Community on Mt Barnett Station and Wanalirri School is in Ngallagunda Community on Gibb River Station. Both schools are run for students from Pre-school to Year Six. At the end of Term One Sonny Ozies, Derby’s Smarter than Smoking Active Community Development Officer, headed out along the Gibb River Road to deliver the Aussie Hoops program at both schools. Sonny delivered the Smarter than Smoking message in conjunction with the Aussie Hoops program where he taught the students the basketball fundamentals of dribbling, passing and shooting. Most of the students are new to basketball and so they were eager to watch and learn the basic skills they needed to play basketball properly.

After two visits and six sessions with each school Sonny was impressed with the skills the students acquired after instruction and a little practice. He noticed some untapped talent that could be on display at the next Garnduwa basketball carnival if the students continue to work on their new skills and get out to practice and play with one another. Sonny gave his most improved honours to 11 year old Ben Burgu from Wanalirri School after watching his smooth left hand dribbling, shooting technique and great awareness on the court. While Daisy-Lee Donation received Sonny’s honours for the most potential. Nine year old Daisy-Lee hails from Dodnun Community and travels 70 kilometres every day to attend Wananami School. She displayed an awesome dribbling ability that won her the dribbling competition and appears to be a rare talent considering she is 300 km from the nearest basketball competition.

Throughout each visit Sonny delivers the Smarter than Smoking message to all the students as part of the Smarter than Smoking Active Community Program. Sonny always has the students explain to him what they have learned during his visits and he usually gets kids paraphrasing the message as “No Smoking!”, “Don’t Smoke!” or “Be Smart”. During one of the visits Sonny was very impressed when a smart and confident young fella, Crishaun Carter, told him that Smarter than Smoking meant that “It’s a Choice”. Sonny asked Crishaun what he meant by this and he answered to the whole group, “Whether you are starting to smoke or you are already smoking there is a choice to make”. Sonny was amazed by Chrisaun’s understanding of the Smarter than Smoking message quote and pointed out to the group of students that each one of them and the people in their lives need to make the smart choice of not smoking. There visits led to a great outcome with students learning new skills in basketball but also how to be a part of making a choice to live a healthier life.

For further information on the Aussie Hoops Grass Roots Program contact your local Garnduwa Office.